BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Of course the topic of discussion here is not the bird, but the country. Armenians can be grateful to Turkey for just one thing, that country’s leadership’s perpetual knack for embarrassing themselves and those they allegedly represent, and often specifically regarding Armenian issues. Remember the pugilist-turned-ambassador Şükrü Elekdağ and the embarrassments he caused for Ankara?
Unsurprisingly, this time we have to thank, specifically, the Cumhurbaşkanı (president) who has been in office less than three months. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is all over the news now thanks to a statement so idiotic that it vies for the title of “Stupidest Erdogan Comment Ever Made” with his “A Muslim can never commit genocide. It’s not possible,” made in 2009, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving of that year!
Perhaps more accurate would be to state that Erdoğan made a series foolish remarks, relating to gender equality. Here are two of the most conspicuous ones: “You cannot bring women and men into equal positions; that is against nature because their nature is different;” and “Our religion [Islam] has defined a position for women [in society]: Motherhood. Some people can understand this, while others can’t. You cannot explain this to feminists because they don’t accept the concept of motherhood.”
We should be thankful because this may jerk-awake a few more addled leaders in the West as to the unfortunate-but-true, yet-persisting, nature of the Turkish government.
We should be grateful for the opportunity to chuckle at the foolhardy mouthings of the head of one of the biggest countries in the world.
We should be blissful that he exposes, once again, the dark and dangerous side of religion-based political conservatism,
We should be most satisfied with Erdoğan for further disrupting the stability of Turkey’s political structure and allowing more enlightened forces to make progress. Whether your personal politics tilts left or right, we must acknowledge that people of the left (even in Turkey), are more likely to adopt a stance that is more open, and even beneficial, to Armenian concerns.
So this Thanksgiving, as you dig into your turkey, please remember the “chief turkey” in Turkey and thank him for being himself.